Environmental work in stores
At ICA there are many initiatives to reduce food waste, both in stores and earlier in the value chain. Some stores prepare meals made from products near expiration, others reduce the price of the goods or donate them to charities. In Estonia, Rimi donates all surplus food items to the Estonian Food Bank, which distributes it to those in need. For a number of years, ICA Norway has been involved in ForMat, a national initiative from Norwegian industry to reduce food waste by 25%. Working to reduce waste is a matter of course, both to reduce the environmental impact but also to save money.
During the year ICA Sweden launched the new ICA Retailers for the Environment eco-tool, which aims to help stores improve their environmental work and further reduce their environmental impact. By the end of the year 23 stores had introduced the tool. In addition, 80 stores had started work to implement ICA Retailers for the Environment.
In Sweden, 180 (188) ICA stores had been awarded a Swan eco-label at year-end 2013, which is 14% of the stores. The Swan eco-label applies tough criteria to matters such as waste management and energy efficiency.
In 2013 great emphasis was placed on initiatives to increase energy efficiency in stores and to increase the number of stores that use renewable energy. In absolute terms, the energy consumption in the Swedish ICA stores decreased by 5% compared to last year, which corresponds to approximately 51,000 MWh. The energy consumption in relation to square meters has also decreased in the Swedish ICA stores, despite an increase in total retail space. This is a result of a continued effort to improve energy efficiency in stores, for example the number of stores that has put lids and doors on refrigerators and freezers has increased.
ICA Kvantum Sannegården in Sweden, which was built in 2010 entirely based on ICA’s guidelines on maximum energy efficiency, serves as a model for all future ICA stores. Energy savings of approximately 35% have been achieved through an array of simple improvements. For example, lids and doors have been installed on refrigerators and freezers, and both lighting and temperature are controlled as required. In 2012 ICA Kvantum Sannegården was the first Swedish grocery retail store to meet the requirements for Green Building certification of commercial properties. Among other things, certification as a Green Building requires the building to use 25% less energy than before or compared with the new construction requirements.
329 of Sweden’s ICA stores now use ICA’s central electricity contract, corresponding to 25% (20%) of the stores. All electricity supplied under the central electricity contract comes from renewable sources. There are also tools for monitoring electricity consumption in the stores. In addition, many ICA stores use renewable energy through their own contracts with electricity suppliers.
Employees in Swedish ICA stores have the opportunity to carry out an energy training with practical advice on how the store can reduce its energy consumption. At year-end 2013, 505 employees at ICA stores had completed the training.
In 2010 ICA Sweden began installing charging stations for customers with electric cars in the car parks outside ICA stores. The goal is to have stations at about 20 ICA stores around the country within five years. At the end of 2013 charging stations were installed at 15 (11) ICA stores.
In Sweden there is a large amount of ICA stores with 100% natural refrigerants and the number is increasing as this is the standard when opening new stores. In recent years, there is an increasing share of remodeling projects done with the conversion to natural refrigerants. The filling amounts of synthetic refrigerants in refrigeration systems during the last 15-20 years has been strongly reduced by the introduction of so-called indirect systems where glycol is used for distribution of cooling to the objects. ICA Sweden is well positioned in this area relative to the competition.